2014 MW Outdoor Track & Field Championships Begin Wednesday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2014 Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships begin Wednesday, May 14 at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex, located on the grounds of the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Real-time scoring and results, along with post-race interviews, event highlights and photo galleries from the 2014 MW Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which run Wednesday, May 14 through Saturday, May 17, are available on the Championship Central page of TheMW.com at http://www.themw.com/#!/page/championship_c-otrack. In addition, Friday and Saturday’s track events will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network. Fans can watch those events at http://www.themw.com/#!/watch-live.

Air Force is the defending champion on the men’s side, while the No. 17 San Diego State women’s team looks to capture its second straight outdoor title. Conference newcomers Utah State and San José State will compete in their first MW Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Their participation brings the total number of teams to 18 (seven men, 11 women).

Competition on Wednesday kicks off with the women’s Heptathlon. San Diego State senior Allison Reaser, who holds the second-highest point total in MW championship history, is looking to win her fourth straight title in the event. Reaser’s teammate, sophomore Nicole Oudenaarden, currently leads the MW in the Heptathlon with 5,721 points, followed by Reaser’s score of 5,637. Oudenaarden, also maintains the top spot in the Javelin with a throw of 155’-4.00’’. Utah State junior Chari Hawkins, who topped Reaser back in February at the 2014 MW Indoor Track & Field Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado, ranks third with 5,550 points.

Another San Diego State senior, Shanieka Thomas, is gunning for her third consecutive Triple Jump championship. Thomas, who has won two straight national titles in the event (2013 outdoor and 2014 indoor), leads the country with a mark of 45’-0.50’’. Thomas also won the Long Jump at the 2013 MW Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Boise State junior Emma Bates, who set new MW all-time records in the 5000 (15:33.42 on April 17 at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California) and 10,000 Meters (32:20.83 on May 4 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational), is the defending 10,000 Meters champion.

The throwing events, Hammer, Shot Put, Discus and Javelin, all feature deep fields, including the 2013 winners in all but the Javelin. Nevada senior Kerri Simmons took home the title in the Shot Put in 2013, but currently trails Colorado State senior Jessica Sharbono, who not only leads in the Shot Put with a throw of 53’-0.25’’, but also in the Discus at 189’-0.00’’. Jasmine Burrell, a junior from San Diego State, won the Discus in 2013 and is ranked second in the Conference entering the 2014 championship.

Colorado State junior Kiah Hicks holds the top spot in the Hammer with a heave of 199’-3.00’’. Hicks was the runner-up in 2013 to senior Megan McKee of Fresno State. McKee’s throw of 195’-11.00’’ is the third-best mark in the Conference this season.

Fresno State junior JeNia Sears leads the field in the Long Jump. Her best mark this season is 20’-7.00’’. Senior Rachel Orr of Utah State cleared 5’-10.75’’ in the High Jump back in March. That leap still paces the league. San Diego State junior Kristen Brown looks to repeat in the Pole Vault, and the junior’s 13’-8.25’’ jump is nearly seven inches higher than teammate Kortney Ross, who holds the second-best clearance at 13’-1.50’’.

Brown and Reaser are tied for the top time in the 100 Hurdles at 13.50, just ahead of Wyoming senior Jenna Mann, who has clocked a 13.58. Mann’s teammate, Taylor Gardner paces the field in the 400 Hurdles entering the championship at 58.14.

Marisa Howard (formerly VanderMalle) of Boise State is racing towards a second straight Mountain West title in the 3000 Steeplechase. The junior posted a time of 10:00.79 this season in Palo Alto, California. That tops the MW field by 24 seconds.

New Mexico senior Charlotte Arter, who finished second in the 1500 Meters to former teammate Josephine Moultrie last year, holds the top spot in 2014 with a time of 4:18.56. Annette Eichenberger of Air Force clocked the fifth-fastest 800 Meters time in Conference history at the 2014 Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. The senior’s 2:04.52 time is nearly four seconds faster than her second-place finish in the 800 Meters at the 2013 MW Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Another 2013 runner-up, UNLV sophomore Monay Meggs, owns the top mark in the Conference entering this week’s championship. Meggs’ time of 54.31 is the season’s best among MW competitors in the 400. Meggs also holds top-three times in the 100 (11.82) and the 200 (23.97).

The leader in the 100 and 200 is Wyoming sophomore Kereston Thomas. Thomas has posted times of 11.65 in the 100 and 23.85 in the 200.

On the men’s side, competition also begins on Wednesday with the Decathlon. Wyoming sophomore Kyle Sullivan is the current points-leader in the Mountain West with 6,841 points. New Mexico senior Richard York, the 2011 champion, holds the second-best total this season with 5,840 points.

Colorado State senior Trevor Brown is looking for his third consecutive title in the 110 Hurdles. Brown holds the Conference’s top mark in both the 110 Hurdles (13.64) and 400 Hurdles (49.85) this season. Both times rank in the top-10 nationally this season, with the 49.85 in the 400 Hurdles currently the fourth-fastest time in the country.

New Mexico senior Luke Caldwell, a winner in the 5000 and 10,000 Meters in 2013, owns the fifth-best 5000 Meters time this season in the league at 13:33.28. Caldwell’s teammate, Adam Bitchell, is No. 13 in the nation in the 10,000 Meters with a time of 28:50.43. Lobo junior Peter Callahan leads the 1500 Meters at 3:42.62, while senior Gabe Aragon’s 1:49.01 is the league’s top mark at 800 Meters.

Boise State senior Zach Wiles leads the Conference in the 3000 Steeplechase with a time of 8:45.95. That mark is ninth-best in the nation. Wyoming senior Mason Finley, a redshirt last outdoor season, has put up consistently big numbers all season in the Discus. His heave of 210’-6.00’’ is the third-best throw in the history of the MW. It also ranks No. 5 in the nation this season.

Utah State junior Nic Bowens, the Men’s Performer of the Meet at the 2014 MW Indoor Track & Field Championship, leads the field in both the 100 and 200 Meters this outdoor season. Bowens has recorded times of 10.27 in the 100 and 20.77 in the 200. Another Aggie, sophomore Cole Lambourne, holds the top spot in the 400 Meters at 47.17.

Collin Scheer, a freshman from Colorado State, holds the top clearance in the High Jump at 6’-10.25’’. The Air Force duo of sophomore Dylan Bell and junior Joey Uhle share the lead in the Pole Vault at 17’-6.50’’. New Mexico senior Kendall Spencer, the 2011 and 2013 champion in the Long Jump, enters the 2014 competition with the MW’s top distance at 26’-1.00’’.

New Mexico junior Reneilwe Aphane’s, 51’-2.25’’ in the Triple Jump is just ahead of teammate Warrick Campbell’s jump of 51’-0.25". Air Force sophomore Grant Hamilton enters the Shot Put competition with the league’s top regular-season mark at 59’-10.50’’.

Matt Post of Boise State is the defending champion in the Hammer. The senior has the top throw in the MW this season at 211’-6.00’’.